Shahmalarani earns Malaysia first gold at SEA Games

By , in Nation Sports on .

Phnom Penh, May 6 – The 2023 Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) have kicked off in Phnom Penh with Malaysia clinching its first gold medals in the highly anticipated event. Karate exponents C Shahmalarani and S Prem Kumar have secured Malaysia’s first gold medals in the women’s kumite below 50kg final and men’s below 55kg final respectively.

The women’s kumite below 50kg final was a nail-biting encounter, with Shahmalarani winning the title decider through a referee’s decision after the scores were tied 3-3. The referee awarded her three out of five votes, crowning her as the champion.

Shahmalarani’s victory was a remarkable comeback, as she had lost to her opponent, Junna Tsukii, a Filipino-Japanese karate exponent, in the final of the Southeast Asian Karate Federation Championships (SEAKF) in Phnom Penh in March.


In the men’s below 55kg final, S Prem Kumar defeated Thailand’s Chanphet Setthapong with a score of 3-1 to secure Malaysia’s second gold medal of the day. Kumar’s victory was a dominant one, with him showcasing his exceptional skills in the karate arena.

Apart from the karate event, Malaysia also made its mark in the women’s cross-country Olympic individual event, where mountain biker Nur Assyira Zainal Abidin won the country’s first silver medal.

The race, held in challenging weather conditions reaching almost 40° Celsius, saw Indonesian Sayu Bella Sukma Dewi clinching the gold medal with a time of 1:13.48. Assyira came in second at 1:17.09, while Thailand’s Yonthanan Phonkla claimed the bronze medal with a time of 1:18.42.

In the obstacle race category, Yoong Wei Theng and Wan Athirah Hidayah Ahmad Fuzli contributed to Malaysia’s medal haul, clinching bronze medals in the men’s and women’s individual events, respectively. These events mark Malaysia’s first medals at the SEA Games.

The SEA Games is scheduled to continue until May 16 with 56 sports and 555 events in total. With several events yet to be contested, Malaysian fans are eagerly waiting for more opportunities for their athletes to showcase their talent and bring home more medals.


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